Apple picking has been a fall tradition in my family for years.  I can remember running through fields with my brother trying to find a low branch that would gain us access to the tree tops above.  Most of the time our attempts were thwarted by our mother, who would then scold us down.  My father would place us on his shoulders to grab the ripest fruit from the tops of the trees.  Carrying paper bags full of apples with sticky fingers and the warm sweet smell of rotting fruit among blades of grass.  Some of my earliest memories take place under the shade of what seemed to be gigantic apples trees.  I always wonder if those trees were actually as big as I thought or if the world really is bigger through the eyes of children.

    It seems only natural that I now get to make new memories with my own children.  For the last three years we have made the pilgrimage to Melick's Town Farm, along with many other families just like ours.  Apple picking is one of those many activities that families choose to partake in over and over again.  It is undeniable that teaching your children where food comes from has its importance.  But if you have ever eaten a freshly picked apple or peach you can agree with me that we don't only go to learn.  We go for the sweet cider and the powder covered apple cider donuts of course.  The hay rides, the goats, the wide open spaces to run through tall grass.  The time to sit under the shade of a peach tree and just be!  
    Lately I have been obsessed with two things.  Ok, not only two things but those are problems for another day.  So, Julianne over at Yankee Kitchen Ninja is always roasting her fruit to make jam.  I was completely in awe over how she roasted strawberries and rhubarb (I am still pouring it over my crepes and pancakes) and I was at a loss when I found out that she was also roasting sour cherries, from cherries she grew in her very orchard (are you also jealous now).  I missed my chance to roast some cherries (unless I decided to exhume some from the frozen recesses of my freezer this winter) but I vowed to never miss a roasting opportunity again. 

    We all know apples are great roasted and I heard that peaches are as well.  So for the last four days I have been roasting a new fruit everyday.  Some with better luck then others...I still hate figs if you are wondering...hate them...a lot.  But thankfully I had lots of luck with my apples and peaches.  With a few sprigs of fresh herbs these roasted preserves can be part of a savory or sweet dish in anything from breakfast to dinner.  Save a little in the refrigerator for now and can the rest for the months ahead.  An addiction to canning...its a good obsession to have, right?    

Roasted Peach Preserves with Rosemary

4-6 pounds of peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
9-10 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 cup unrefined cane sugar
juice from 1 lemon
pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Place the chopped peaches into a large roasting pan and cover with rosemary, sugar, lemon and salt.  Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and bake for one hour.  Remove the aluminum foil and continue to roast for another hour, stirring occasionally.  Continue to check to make sure the peaches are not burning.  When they are done the peaches will be golden and soft, and the liquid should be bubbly and thick.  Before serving remove the springs of rosemary and discard them.  At this point you could serve the preserves warm or save them in a container in the refrigerator.  You could also can the preserves by following proper canning procedures and processing them in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Roasted Apple Preserves with Thyme

4-6 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 bunch of fresh thyme
6 oz of honey

1/2 cup of water
juice from 1 lemon

pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F.   Add chopped apples to a large roasting pan.  Cover with fresh thyme, honey, water, lemon and pinch of salt. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for one hour.  Remove the foil and continue to roast for another hour, stirring occasionally.  Continue to check to make sure the apples are not burning.  When they are done the apples will be golden and soft, and the liquid should be bubbly and thick.  Before serving or canning remove any large sticks of thyme and discard them.  At this point you could serve the preserves warm or save them in a container in the refrigerator.  You could also can the preserves by following proper canning procedures and processing them in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.    

....and if you haven't noticed I am quiet obsessed with vintage black and white enamel...but who wouldn't be!
 


Comments

09/13/2013 12:08pm

WHOOT! Thanks for the shoutout -- I'm so glad you're on the fruit-roasting bandwagon. I love the idea of peaches with rosemary -- I bet it would be awesome with roast chicken.

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09/13/2013 12:41pm

Well thank YOU for all my roasting inspiration!!! The peaches and rosemary are really tasty...I haven't tried it on chicken yet, but you can bet I will be :)

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09/13/2013 2:22pm

I love apple and peach picking... but, don't yell at me, we didn't go this year. But, we do belong to a CSA and we get peaches and apples through them, so does that count?

Mmm, roasted apples and peaches sounds so good right about now. Once I drop a bit more poundage I'm totally making apple crisp!!!

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09/15/2013 7:40pm

Ok since you did the whole CSA thing I guess that counts enough ;) I too have to get on an apple crisp...that is one of my favorite desserts!

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09/13/2013 2:50pm

Ok, so you can't see me right now but I am bowing. That's right, bowing to your utter genius, creativity and all around giftedness ;-). Seriously, would you look at your photos? That first one alone just about knocked me off my chair. I like how you have kept up this special family tradition and when it is something like this -- in nature where you are surrounded by beauty and wonder, it doesn't get much better, does it? Great use of fresh herbs in your preserves -- such a nice way to accentuate the flavour of the fruit and the roasting method is brilliant. I have to try this! (I am so not a preserver but you are seriously inspiring me Sandra :)).

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09/15/2013 7:45pm

Thanks Kelly :) There is nothing better then walking around orchards and farms, picking your own food. One of my favorite things to do in the summer/fall. You should totally get into preserving...its a fun obsession to have :)

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09/15/2013 8:51pm

I already have plenty of obsessions - I'm not sure there's room for more ;-). xo (sounds like you had a great weekend - hope you blog about it sometime).

09/15/2013 12:03am

What a wonderful post. How lovely that you are taking you children to pick fruit, and creating your own memories along the way. Wonderful too is teaching your kids where their food really comes from. I am always sad to have discussions with young people today when I discover that they have had no real contact with where their food comes from - or how it starts life.

Roasting fruit for preserving is indeed a wonderful technique. Roasting brings out a depth of flavor that can never be attained by traditional stove top jam making. Brava to you for a wonderful post!

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09/15/2013 7:49pm

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my site Adri. Roasting is probably one of my favorite words. In the winter time that is practically how I cook EVERYTHING.

I am also very lucky that we live in a area that allows me to bring my children to so many great Pick-your-own farms. I also think I have as much fun as they do.

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10/23/2014 9:17am

When man acquires education he educate individual. When woman acquires education she serves the one generation. The children are close to their mother and they teach first from her. Only an educated mother can make their children the successful persons.

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